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Homeschooling under an

Independent Study Homeschool Charters

The funding can range from $900-$3,800 a year.

All of the below information is the opinions of families and may not be fact. Please check with each charter to verify or talk with other families that may have more insight.


Cabrillo Point Academy (CPA)- $3500/$3800
This school used to be a part of the Inspire schools and then separated about several years ago. They mostly serve Orange County but also serve San Diego, Riverside & LA. They require 1 sample of schoolwork once a month from each child from Tk-8th grade. High School they require 1 sample of each subject or a portfolio. They offer online classes and they do tend to push the online classes as it is easier for the teachers so they don't have to keep track of your work. They offer freedom in how to spend funds with their educational vendors. Many families will say your experience depends on your assigned teacher as some are stricter than others. They also don't allow families to partially pay for classes which has been a huge issue with many. So if you have $200 left in funds and want to take a class that costs $240, and pay the $40 out of pocket, they won't allow you to do so. No other charter has this rule (just PCA, MVA, CPA). They will pay for membership registration fees.

Mission Vista Academy (MVA)- $3500/$3800
This school used to be a part of the Inspire schools and then separated about several years ago. They mostly serve Riverside County but also serve San Diego, Orange County & LA. They are probably the largest and most popular in Riverside. They require 1 sample of schoolwork once a month from each child from Tk-8th grade. High School they require 1 sample of each subject or a portfolio. They offer online classes and they do tend to push the online classes as it is easier for the teachers so they don't have to keep track of your work. They offer freedom in how to spend funds with their educational vendors. Many families will say your experience depends on your assigned teacher as some are stricter than others. They also don't allow families to partially pay for classes which has been a huge issue with many. So if you have $200 left in funds and want to take a class that costs $240, and pay the $40 out of pocket, they won't allow you to do so. No other charter has this rule (just PCA, MVA, CPA). They will pay for membership registration fees.

Pacific Coast Academy (PCA)- $3500/$3800
This school used to be a part of the Inspire schools and then separated about several years ago. They seem to be the largest here in San Diego and mostly serve San Diego County but also serve Riverside, Orange County & LA. They require 1 sample of schoolwork once a month from each child from Tk-8th grade. High School they require 1 sample of each subject or a portfolio. They offer freedom in how to spend funds with their educational vendors. Some students like them, but they seem to be more enrichment. They have the most vendors in San Diego. One thing many families don't like is that they say they give choice for high school, but they really push the online classes making it very difficult for families to choose a their own path. They push them as it is easier for their teachers to keep track of their work for high school requirements. They also offer online classes for lower grades, which some teachers push hard. Some families say they are fun and some say they are not what they want for their children homeschooling. Many families will say your experience depends on your assigned teacher as some are stricter than others. They also don't allow families to partially pay for classes which has been a huge issue with many. So if you have $200 left in funds and want to take a class that costs $240, and pay the $40 out of pocket, they won't allow you to do so. No other charter has this rule (just PCA, MVA, CPA). They do have an active SPED. They will pay for membership registration fees.

Freedom Academy- $2400
Freedom only serves Tk-8th grade and is under Literacy First Schools. I've heard you can participate sports through Literacy First when in middle school. They have the name Freedom for a reason. They are not really strict on how you spend your educational funds as long as they are with an approved vendor. They offer an enrichment class day you can register for once a week for 3 hours. This costs $75 a quarter and in Santee. They are very small but seem to be close knit. One thing they don't have is high school, so you have to switch to another charter then. Families have said that their SPED lacks and is slow. They will pay for membership registration fees.

SunCoast Preparatory Academy- $3500/$3800
The director of Suncoast Prep homeschools and is very much involved in the parental side of homeschooling and for the freedom of parents homeschooling how they choose. They offer freedom how you spend your educational funds with their approved vendors. Their assigned teachers are their to support the homeschooler and not tell you how to homeschool. They quadrupled in size in one year (2023/2024) due to the freedom they give parents. They offer online classes for High School, but don't push it and allow you to choose different tracks for High School whether that is a-g or not. I hear you have the option to opt out of testing. They will pay for membership registration fees.

SoCal Scholars Academy$3500/$3800
This school is a sister school of PCA. They mostly serve San Diego County. They require 1 sample of schoolwork once a month from each child from Tk-8th grade. They offer online High School classes and they really push the online classes as it is easier for the teachers so they don't have to keep track of your work. They offer freedom in how to spend funds with their educational vendors. They have about as many vendors as PCA. They are new in the 2023/2024 school year so we don't know much about them yet. They will pay for membership registration fees.



Elite Academic Academy- $3200
Elite is one of the stricter schools in that they require a lot more samples of work to be turned in by the families. They do offer some sports through High school from what I hear, but I don't know where it is offered. It is very hard to become a vendor with them, so they don't have as many vendors. You don't have as much choice of curriculum with them, as it is supposed to be from a list of approved curriculum. They do not allow you to homeschool High School on your own as you are required to do their online classes only.

Dimensions Element Education- Undisclosed
Dimensions offers a few different programs. A hybrid that includes in person core classes. A hybrid that includes in person enrichment or their Element education that is all independent homeschool. They will not disclose the funds they give to each student. They develop a plan for your child at the beginning of the school year and you can spend funds by ordering approved curriculum and with approved vendors. You request such funds, and they will tell you if they are approved or not. Some families have said they spend a lot of funds on classes, tutoring and extracurricular and some families say they have asked for more after doing a few classes and they say no, you have used your allotted amount. They do offer enrichment classes and core classes in -person, but your funds are more limited if taking their classes. You also cannot take their in-person classes if you do not vaccinate.

Granite Mountain Charter- $3200 (?)
Granite mountain used to be a part of Inspire schools. They require you to choose all of your curriculum before allowing you to spend it on outside enrichment services. They will not pay registration fees. They do offer some extra curricular activities for their High School students like performing arts and ASB. We don't know much about them.


Excel Academy- $3200
Excel is growing. They will not pay membership fees. They service different counties They do require more samples of work, but from what I hear, their assigned teachers are not strict. They only giving certain options of curriculum they approve. You are required to pick curriculum, so they aren't supportive of unschooling or doing your own curriculum. They don't have a lot of vendors, but they try. For High School they allow you to choose your route for your child and not choose the a-g route. They do allow you to homeschool yourself with your textbooks or a learning center on do not push their online classes. This has been a big attraction for Excel.

Sage Oak Academy- $2800
The families that are with Sage Oak and haven't experienced other charters seem to be dedicated to them, especially if they get a good assigned teacher. But they are very strict on curriculum and turning in a lot of samples each month. They don't allow you to use your funds freely and paying their vendors takes months, if not longer. They will not pay registration fees.

Compass Charter Schools- ???
Compass is newer for us. We don't have a lot of experience with them. You do need to choose from certain curriculum and they don't support unschooling. You are required to do online for High School. They will pay registration fees if they are built into the class/service fee, but will not pay membership fees. 

Springs Charter- $1200
Springs doesn't give a lot of funding as you can participate in their enrichment class days that they offer. If you do not vaccinate, you cannot attend their classes. They charge for them, but that price is undisclosed. They are pretty popular and many families are dedicated to them once they are a part of their program. They have a good library of curriculum to choose from. You are required to turn in a lot more work each month. They have a short list of vendors, but growing. They do seem to be very slow at sending funds to the vendors so families can't start their services on time.

Julian Charter- $900
Julian Charter offers enrichment class days and core class days as a hybrid. They do not allow you to go to their in person classes if you are not vaccinated. They do require you to turn in a lot, if not most, of your work. They only allow you to choose from their approved curriculum and they have a very short list of approved vendors. They do have a good library to choose curriculum. 

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